Tax tricks played on Welsh peace activist

IssueNovember 2008
News by Sian Cwper

After withholding 10% of my income tax for the last five years because I refuse to pay for war, I received a letter from Caernarfon County Court, saying there would be a case to decide whether £2,333.52 should be taken from my bank account, at 11.20am on the 7 October (the anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan).

Along with 20 supporters, including Robin Brookes, another member of the Peace Tax Seven, who’d travelled all the way from Devizes, I stood around outside the court for an hour. Finally, I went to the office to ask when my case would be heard. They said HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had cancelled the case. I was given a copy of an official letter stating that the sum in question had been paid in full by the defendant.
When I got home a week later, there were letters from HMRC and from the court, both saying that the case had been withdrawn.

And there was also another letter from HMRC, dated 7 October, the day of the hearing, saying that if I don’t pay £7,127.70 by 21 October, they will start proceedings in the County Court.

This is all very mysterious. I hope that one day I will be taken to court, and be able to explain that I am not able to voluntarily hand over money to the government that I know will be used for killing, because I don’t believe in killing. I am a Buddhist, and have taken a vow not to.

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